Colonization of Colliery Spoil Heaps by Millipedes (Diplopoda) and Terrestrial Isopods (Oniscidea) in the Sokolov Region, Czech Republic


  • Karel Tajovský

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Soil Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Na Sádkách 7, CZ-37005 Ĉeské Budïjovice, Czech Republic
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Successive development of millipede and terrestrial isopod assemblages in colliery spoil heaps in the Sokolov region (northwest Bohemia, Czech Republic) was studied during the years 1993–1998. Younger colliery spoil heaps were characterized by a lower number and low density of millipede species. The millipedes Polydesmus inconstans, Polydesmus testaceus, and Craspedosoma rawlinsii represented the main pioneer species. Alder afforestation proved to be more suitable for the recolonization of millipede populations, especially for the predominant Julus scandinavius. Terrestrial isopods colonized all parts of the heaps, including the youngest open plots. The most frequent isopod, Trachelipus rathkii, is a colonizing species with an apparently high adaptability to different environmental conditions. The isolated character of the extensive heap areas, together with existing extreme soil conditions, resulted in slow recolonization and a successional development of stable populations of these animals. However, the relatively high densities of millipede and isopod assemblages in suitable alder afforestation can represent further potential sources for colonization of other open-heap areas.